We decided to fly from Jakarta to Yogyakarta (map), as it just takes about one hour and cost about 40€ for both of us. A train ride is about 8 hours. Getting a taxi at the Yogyakarta airport isn’t that easy, as there are only private drivers with fixed prices waiting for you outside the airport (A ride to the city center should cost around 110.000 IDR). There is one “Taksi” stall which we passed, but we think this is the place where you can order metered taxi. In general, metered taxis are cheaper than those with fixed prices.
We stayed at Griya Wijkan which is located right in the city center. A small, beautiful and very clean hotel with friendly staff that also helped us to organize a tour to the Borobudur temple. Yogyakartas’ crowded main road is called Malioboro and is full of small shops, horse-drawn carts, cars, and street food stalls. We tried the authentic street food, sat next to the locals and tried the amazing spinach and a duck that wasn’t really what we expected. It was definitely a good idea to eat here, as everyone smiled at us and wanted to talk to us. One of the smaller streets in that area is called Sosrowijayan. It is full of tourists, backpackers and modern bars – so we tried to avoid this part of this city.
We decided to do the Borobudur tour the next day. We payed 130.000 IDR for the transportation (return) and 400.000 each for the entrance fee. It is a lot, but definitely worth it! We decided to do the sunrise tour and therefore got picked up by a mini bus at 4 o’clock in the morning. After an hour drive on the tightly squeezed mini bus, we arrived at the starting point of our short walk. We were given torches and could then make our way up to the temple on our own. It was still completely dark and it took us about 10 minutes to get to the top. It is an amazing feeling to watch the colourful sky and wait for the sun that rises behind the mountains. Afterwards we still had some time to walk around the temple and find our way back to the restaurant where we started. The way isn’t that easy to find and we didn’t have enough time for our included breakfast as our driver wasn’t clear about it. On the way back our driver was really tired and nearly fell asleep a few times. When our tire suddenly blew up we were pretty happy about the accident, as we could get out and take a taxi back home which was definitely safer. As we do not have any further information about other tours or drivers, we do not know if this was just an exception.
The next day we visited the Sultans’ palace which was 7.000 IDR per person and 2.000 IDR for the photo license. The palace is pretty small and we weren’t impressed by it. We would recommend visiting the water palace instead. Just ask people on the street how to get there and they will show you the direction. You can easily walk there from the city center (Sultans’ palace). The entrance fee was 15.000 per person and it is a very nice little walk to get to the water palace. Walking through underground passageways, discovering an underground mosque and pausing at the beautiful water palace. In the evening we had dinner at the ´Mediterranea restaurant´ in Jalan Tirtodipuran no. 1. It serves italian food. The interior design and the dishes are just great. This restaurant would also be outstanding in Europe. We found it on TripAdvisor and were fascinated by the delicious food for just 5-10€ per dish.
Overall, Yogyakarta is not a beautiful city, but has a lot to offer regarding the surroundings and sights. If you plan to spend enough time in Yogyakarta, you can go on plenty of different tours. To get a first impression of the city and the surroundings, 3 nights were enough for us. To visit the Borobudur temple is something you should definitely include in your travel plans. Our last tip for leaving Yogyakarta; In case you have a flight from Yogyakarta to Bali, make sure you tell the taxi driver that it is a domestic flight as there are two different entrances to the airport. We visited the cities Jakarta and Yogyakarta on the island of Java and both are no natural beauties. But different than Jakarta, Yogyakarta has to offer different cultural and religious sights.